The Ontario government says 50 clinics across the province will offer government-funded fertility treatments.
The funding covers expenses for one in vitro fertilization cycle and unlimited rounds of artificial insemination for a patient – but the whole process is only available once in their lifetime.
The province is investing about $50 million in the program that will provide more than 10,000 patients with artificial and intra-uterine insemination, as well as more than 5,000 patients with in vitro fertilization and fertility preservation.
The province has teamed up with the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario to ensure the success of the program.
IVF is a medical procedure where fertility-stimulating hormones are typically injected into the body to produce a high number of eggs that are retrieved and then fertilized by sperm outside of the body.
Health Minister Eric Hoskins says anyone with fertility problems, “including non-medical factors” such as same-sex couples and single people, will be able to access one round of IVF. Male fertility begins to decline around age 40, and the risk of birth defects doubles. “Children are our future and, by creating a more equitable and accessible fertility program, the government is supporting family building for those who couldn’t otherwise have the opportunity to have children”, he said in a release.
Since the additional funding was announced in October, fertility centres have been overwhelmed by queries from patients trying to figure out how they could get on the list for the government-funded treatment. It is truly a big step forward.